The 10 Worst Roads in Houston (Right Now)

Categories: Traffic

worst-roads-today.jpg
You better believe this made the list.
When I recently asked people to give me their worst roads in Houston, I knew what I would be in for. Having already discussed the matter with others at the Press as well as friends and acquaintances, I could guess what people would say. The truth is, there are a ton of roads in Houston at the moment (some perpetually) that feel more like dirt roads in the country than paved roads in the heart of the city. Of course, this is nearly always changing and getting a picture of what is going on right this moment seemed prudent.

There were a couple criteria that went into the decision-making process. Anything that was under construction with the aim of improving the existing problems was off limits. No sense in complaining about something that is being fixed. Also, no freeways. They are their own special brand of hell. This is all about the side streets. Finally, nothing downtown. With the nearly perpetual construction going on in and around our city skyscrapers, it was pointless to even try and document that nonsense.

What became evident when studying problems is that nearly every road in question had two things in common. First, they were all heavily trafficked roads. These weren't just randomly neglected stretches, long forgotten by the city and county. These were busy thoroughfares making the problem even more acute. Second, they were all streets nearly impossible to repair because of a combination of the high traffic volume and the narrow size of the street. Working on the streets would practically mean closing them down creating serious traffic nightmares.

As a result, we might be stuck with some of these nightmares for a while.

10. TC Jester between 34th and Pinemont

I have the misfortune of driving this nearly every day and I have driven on it for many years. In high school, I had friends with big cars with cream-puff suspension who would enjoy driving fast northbound on TC Jester in the righthand lane because the giant dips made from roads intersecting it would nearly send them airborne. Those conditions still exist, but they are worse now. And for some crazy reason, parking is allowed in the righthand lane of southbound side near the dog park. It becomes a choice of hitting a parked car or a massive pothole. It's not always a clear cut decision.

9. Farrell Road between Aldine Westfield and FM 1960

This tiny little back road in north Houston on the outskirts of the airport is still a popular alternate route for area residents to avoid traffic on the North Freeway and Greens Road. Unfortunately, it looks like Mad Max movie was filmed here. I used to live on this side of town as a kid and it was bad at that time. That was 30 years ago.

8. West Gray between Montrose and Waugh Drive

This is the first of what you will undoubtedly notice is a pattern of really awful east-west roads through the Montrose area. This is the shortest stretch of the bunch, but certainly one of the worst. With four lanes, you'd think the city could close parts of it down for a week to re-pave, but so far, no such luck. Better option would be to take Dallas to the north. Remarkably, it's not awful.

7. Holcombe Boulevard between Kirby and Stella Link

Surprising that a road in between West University and Bellaire would be so awful, but it most certainly is. Despite much of Holcombe to the east and Bellaire Boulevard (as it becomes named after Kirby Drive) to the west in good shape, this section is a nightmare.

6. Alabama between Spur 527 and Shepherd

I've never encountered slower drivers than those on Alabama between Weslayan and the Montrose. Fortunately, for a fairly long stretch west of Shepherd, the road is at least paved well. Not so once you get near Alabama Icehouse. Through an area with expensive homes and beautiful museums, it's like a patchwork road that is as ugly as the tree-lined neighborhoods are beautiful. Add the center switchback lane that runs in alternating directions during rush hours and it has all the makings of a traffic nightmare.



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67 comments
ecgoudeau
ecgoudeau

Polk between Cullen and Lockwood...

Venessa Singh
Venessa Singh

290 from the hours of 6am-9am and 45 from the hours of 4:30pm-7pm

Tish Squish
Tish Squish

I drive down Richmond & Alabama daily between Galleria and downtown. Richmond blows so hard we should give it a hurricane name.

Kevin Lacobie
Kevin Lacobie

"It's ironic that in such an affluent part of town there would be a road so hideous...". Ironic, or strategic? Some neighborhoods lobby to not have the roads smoothed over, to prevent speeders.

Noelle Tijerina
Noelle Tijerina

Westchase area. Kirkwood is pure shit from Westheimer to I-10, as well as the other roads that run parallel to it >> Wilcrest, Dairy Ashford. I wouldn't even call them roads anymore

Jace Anthony Manick
Jace Anthony Manick

Man. They *really* need to fix up Almeda Genoa sometime this century. Maybe thats just me though.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Is there a specific reason the city uses incompatible materials to fill potholes? Why do they use asphalt to repair concrete? You don't have to be a engineer to know that is a horrible idea.

Erich Brehm Jr.
Erich Brehm Jr.

How about we eliminate all over passes that merge at the apex? Zach Daigle Dustin Johnston Vinh Nguyen

Laurie Curtis
Laurie Curtis

Well there's more than just one.. Maybe Fannin

Melinda Hooker Metz
Melinda Hooker Metz

For the love of God... Greenbriar and the right lane on Fannin between 610 and OST.

Xavier Balderas
Xavier Balderas

mainstream roads, you're forgetting about the roads used by the working class much worst than these. So don't use the term "worst roads in Houston" ...instead, worst heavily trafficked roads in the H.

Reg Burns
Reg Burns

Gotta agree with most of these.

Hector Rodriguez
Hector Rodriguez

The Greenbriar street definitely fits in this list. That stretch heading toward Holcombe is a rollercoaster. I've seen some of the patch work that they've done, but it never holds.

vmb6110
vmb6110

re: #1 Richmond, pretty sure it was Rep. John Culberson who gloated about killing light rail on Richmond while at a Tony's fundraiser. Not Sen. John Cornyn

lhntx00
lhntx00

Stanford between Westheimer and W. Gray is pretty hideous as well.  Some blocks have ditches deep enough to swallow your car with caving in edges that pull you toward the ditch, some blocks have curbs, some blocks have no curbs.  Parking along the sides at the Fairview intersection make it nearly impossible to get through at times (good luck for a fire truck!). Add to that all of the sewer and water line work, cutouts in the street for new construction utilities, and inconsistent street width by block.  But, using Stanford instead of Montrose to go north-south is still better than the constantly traffic clogged Montrose.


Most of the lower Westheimer Rd. damage is caused by using asphalt instead of cement, so the buses that stop and start slowly push the asphalt up and out, the same goes for W. Gray.  Driving down either street is a mini roller coaster ride, especially in the right hand lane used by the buses.


The scary thing is that traffic in the area is getting worse and worse due to all of the new multi-story housing going in on nearly every major street, so the conditions will only deteriorate even more over time.  Most of the east-west streets (W. Dallas, W. Gray, Fairview,  Westheimer, W. Alabama, Richmond) were all originally 2 lane residential streets, and were never intended to handle so much traffic.  The north- souths (Shepherd, Dunlavy (ugh!) , Commonwealth / Waugh, Montrose, Taft are a little better able to handle it, but not by much.  

pfb7
pfb7

Of course 5 of the 10 are in/surround "Montrose"

Mayling Tate
Mayling Tate

I can't believe this list was narrowed down to just 10 when the majority of the roads in Houston are so bad!!

Danielle Stephens
Danielle Stephens

I can't believe Bissonnet between Weslayan and Kirby wasn't mentioned. It's awful!

kswords
kswords

Definitely Kirkwood between Westheimer and Memorial!!! One part on the Northbound side has like a 2 ft height difference between the 2 lanes... And that says nothing of the endless pot holes to go with it... It's insane!!!

Puller58
Puller58

Driving on a bad road or dodging contruction?  I'll take another route.

Wesley Burnham
Wesley Burnham

Then so many of the backroads in and around the Hobby Airport area deserve mention. If you like to drive expediently as I do, then you learn to appreciate the idea of the slalom freestyle.

nope
nope

You can't even go the speed limit on some of streets mentioned without flying off the bumps.  Also 6+5+4+3+1 encompasses a pretty significant area and possibly the nicest part of town.


Houston:  Because if you don't drive a pickup then pretty much f**k you. 

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Hempstead was just repaved. It is like driving on a cloud now. Seriously,

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Still in flux. Cornyn blocked federal funding, but there are other options.

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Holcombe turns into Bellaire and that is where it is at its absolute worst.

Jeff Balke
Jeff Balke

Mainly I was talking about the quality of the road not the horrible traffic, which is something out of Dante's Inferno.

big.red.guy
big.red.guy

Have you tried driving down Broadway from the Gulf Freeway to Hobby Airport? You can't drive the speed limit and still have all the fillings in your teeth that you started with.

charlierock62
charlierock62

To hell with the streets. In my neighborhood (Richmond at Woodhead area),they are repaving all the sidewalks,while the streets remain crap. I feel like i'm driving on country roads sometimes.


Hello Mayor,please do something.

WhiteLightning
WhiteLightning

Good one. And this doesn't speak to smaller streets. For instance, parallel to the stretch of Westheimer mentioned, side streets between Westheimer and Alabama resemble roads in rural India. Hawthore between Montrose and Dunlavy is criminally neglected, but it's not the only one. Speak up, Mayor, we can't hear you.

yacketycat
yacketycat

C'mon, give them some credit - they finally fixed three especially treacherous potholes on Westheimer and it only took them like six years (and two busted tires for me).

Geermo Toms
Geermo Toms

no hempstead? I call bullshit. that's practically the edward james olmos parkway

BiscuitsAhoy
BiscuitsAhoy

@kswords Kirkwood, Dairy Ashford, and Wilcrest are all equally terrible between Westheimer and Memorial.  Though they are trying to do some work on Dairy Ashford thankfully because it felt like you were driving on the moon.

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

Hempstead Highway was recently repaved. It is like driving on a cloud now.

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